With the addition of Sting vs. Seth Rollins, a vigilante set to take a swipe at The Authority's favorite son, WWE Night of Champions 2015 is suddenly a show brimming with intrigue.
A SummerSlam rematch won't headline the pay-per-view. Neither will the underwhelming Kane vs. Rollins option. Instead, WWE chose to go the outside-the-box route and pull in a special attraction at an unexpected time against an unexpected opponent.
With as controversial a win as Rollins scored against John Cena at SummerSlam, those two rivals clashing again at Night of Champions seemed inevitable. And while they are just coming off a tremendous joint performance, another round of Rollins vs. Cena wouldn't have the electricity that Sting stepping up to The Architect does.
Sting remains a marquee enticement in the WWE world.
On Monday's Raw, WWE unveiled the man who will challenge Rollins at the next PPV. The world champ awaited a glimpse at the statue The Authority commissioned in his honor. Rather than see a bronze version of his smirking face, Sting stood under that black curtain, ready to pounce.
To indicate that he was after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, The Stinger held up the title as Raw went off the air.
Few fans saw that coming after Rollins' SummerSlam win. How could they? In a way, it doesn't make sense.
Sting is just 0-1 in WWE. That hardly qualifies him as a contender. And while moving him up to the title picture is illogical for that reason and Sting is an aging star well past his prime, this is still a welcome move.
For one, it's not a random pairing. There is history between these two as Sting helped Dolph Ziggler pin Rollins at last year's Survivor Series. Sting's goal in the WWE has been to attack The Authority. That now has him aiming his arrows at the man who wrestles for (and often with the aid of) that regime.
While most would assume that WWE would save Sting for WrestleMania, he instead arrives early, to a show that is often an afterthought. Just as Brock Lesnar's presence elevated Battleground, Sting will do the same for Night of Champions.
The 56-year-old remains a marquee attraction, especially for WWE fans. He has wrestled just one match for the company. Every matchup in front of him is fresh. Every appearance still feels like major news.
And as ProWrestling.net writer Will Pruett said, it's a big match with big potential:
Rather than go with Sting vs. Undertaker as many WWE fans have longed for, this showdown allows for better in-ring action. Rollins' youth and athleticism will allow him to do the bulk of the work. Consider too that one of Rollins' strong points is selling.
He's going to make Sting look like a worldbeater in there.
Night of Champions, which is poised to be filled with SummerSlam rematches, now gets a match that has never happened before. That it in itself is a selling point.
This is how you use part-timers. Rather than have them fight each other (a la Triple H vs. Sting at WrestleMania), pitting legends against emerging stars is the way to go. All the buzz that Sting brings to the event will benefit Rollins.
Even considering Sting's age and that he built his career outside of WWE, he still wields star-making power. Rollins can certainly use the boost of besting a Hall of Famer.
For those arguing that Rollins doesn't need to be put over, be sure to recall all his wins as champion so far. Kane helped him beat Randy Orton, Jon Stewart essentially handed him a win over John Cena and the only way he escaped Lesnar at Battleground was sheer luck.
Undertaker's thirst for revenge saved him that night.
With Sting now in front of him, Rollins can bolster his resume with a win over a big name. Kenny Herzog of Rolling Stone laid out the stakes for the champ quite well. He wrote, "Presuming Rollins walks away with title in hand, ditto for his rising stock as peer slayer and legend killer."